Dave Harkness: Measure 1B makes sense for Tacoma

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For 95 years, Dave Harkness’ family has owned and operated Harkness Furniture in South Tacoma. “We are about as South Tacoma as you can get,” he said.

But Measure 1 is a grave threat to his business because it would increase the city’s minimum wage by 58 percent overnight. If $15 an hour becomes law, Harkness’ store would have a budget impact of $50,000 a year. He’d have to consider layoffs or reductions in benefits to compensate.

Measure 1B is different, Harkness said. It would address income inequality by raising wages to $12 an hour but do it in a responsible way. “Measure 1B is a reasonable alternative that would not cripple our city’s small businesses and nonprofits. It would give all of us two years to adjust.

“Measure 1B is the minimum wage increase that makes sense for Tacoma.”